Seniors Scoop

New Medicare Cards Feature Anti-Fraud, Identity Theft Prevention Mechanism

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ELIZABETH, NJ - In recognition of May as Older Americans Month, Union County’s senior adults are reminded that they will receive new Medicare cards from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this summer.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal agency that runs the Medicare program. It is a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

As a fraud and identity theft prevention measure, the new Medicare cards include an 11-character “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” instead of a Social Security number.

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The new Medicare cards will be mailed to cardholders automatically as long as the address is accurate. To update an address, visit ssa.gov/myaccount  or call 1-800-772-1213 (for TTY use 1-800-325-0778).

The mailings will be done in waves by geographic location. Cards may arrive at different times for neighbors and friends due to the mailing schedule.

For additional details about the new Medicare card, visit online at medicare.gov/newcard, or in person at the Social Security office at 855 Lehigh Avenue in Union Township, or call 1-800-772-1213.

Other programs and services that can help seniors avoid identity theft and other forms of fraud include the 'Anti-Fraud Toolkit' created by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, which includes an e-mail alert network for sharing up-to-date news about the latest fraud incidents in New Jersey, especially those affecting seniors.

For more information on the Anti-Fraud Toolkit, or and to sign up for Real-Time Fraud Alerts visit the Division of Consumer Affairs at njconsumeraffairs.gov/fightingfraud.

Union County residents are also encouraged to report possible frauds and scams to the Union County Office of Consumer Affairs. To file a complaint online, visit ucnj.org/public-safety or call 908-654-9840.

Another protective measure is to ensure that sensitive personal documents are shredded and securely disposed. Union County sponsors a regular series of free, secure paper shredding events throughout the spring, summer and fall. For a complete schedule, visit ucnj.org/recycling.

For information about other senior services offered by Union County, including Paratransit and senior meals, call the Union County Division on Aging toll-free at 888-280-8226, 908-527-4870, or visit ucnj.org/human-services.

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